Edwin F. "Ed" Bourassa, Sr. 73, of Water Street, Keene, NH, died Wednesday, May 08, 2013, with his family at his side, at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, following a period of failing health.
He was born in Keene, NH, May 10, 1939, the son of Leon F. and Angelina M. (Wilcox) Bourassa. A lifelong resident of Keene, he attended St. Joseph's Regional School, was a graduate of Keene High School and later St. Anselm College.
He was an Air Force veteran, stationed in Tokyo, Japan.
Mr. Bourassa worked in law enforcement for twenty-one years, first for seven years with the City of Keene Police Department, and then for fourteen years as a part-time police officer with the Town of Swanzey Police Department, where he was promoted to Lieutenant.
For 23 years, he worked at National Grange Mutual Insurance in Keene, first in underwriting and then as Corporate Assistant Secretary and Department Manager of the Processing Services for their Information Systems and Services.
In 1967, he received the honors of the Admissions Degree in The Knights of Columbus in the Richard P. Gilbo Council No. 5414 in Keene, NH. He served his council in the various offices, and was elected Grand Knight on five occasions.
He served the New Hampshire State Council in many capacities including; four years as State Membership Director, one year as Catholic Activities Director, two years as District Warden, two years as District Deputy and five years as State Ceremonials Director. In 1975, he was elected The State Deputy of New Hampshire, and re-elected to that position in 1976. While serving in the office of State Deputy, Ed is credited with the institution of eight new councils in that jurisdiction. He also founded The New Hampshire Past State Deputies Association and served as its President a year later.
Mr. Bourassa is a member of The John F. Kennedy Assembly, Fourth Degree, in Keene, where he filled the various offices of the Assembly and served as Navigator for two years.
In October, 1977, he was elevated by The Supreme Board of Directors to the office of Vice Supreme Master of the Bishop James A. Healy Province and served in that office until October 1981. While he was serving as Vice Supreme Master, Bishop Healy Province instituted eighteen new assemblies.
He has received numerous awards from the Knights of Columbus including: The Supreme Knights Certificate of Commendation, New Hampshire District Deputy of the Year in 1974; Knight of the Year from Council No. 5414 in 1974 and again in 1981; Massachusetts Legion of Merit in 1980; and the Bourassa family was chosen by Council No. 5414 as The Catholic Family of the Year in 1977.
He was very active in church and community programs in Keene where he served St. Bernard's Parish as a member of the Pastoral Council and as a Lector. Past offices include: President of the Keene Little League; Member of the Board of Directors for The Cheshire County Association for Handicapped Citizens; Member of the Board of Directors of the Oblate Retreat House, Hudson, NH; and Captain of the Monadnock United Way Fund.
On April 25, 1982, The State of Connecticut Fourth Degree, District No. 1, in the Centennial Year of the Order of The Knights of Columbus, honored Ed by naming The Fourth Degree Class in his honor.
In 1985, the New Hampshire State Legislature passed a "Legislative Resolution" naming Ed as an outstanding citizen and presented him with a proclamation so honoring him.
He was an avid Red Sox fan, and he especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Janice J. (Naylor) Bourassa of Keene, his children; Doreen M. Gebhardt and her husband, Rick, of Keene, Edwin F. Bourassa, Jr. and his wife, Michelle J., of Keene, Candace A. Frazier and her husband, Daniel, of Williston, VT, Nancy A. Weston and her husband, Michael, of Hinsdale, NH; sixteen grandchildren; Rick Gebhardt, Jr., Nicholas Gebhardt, Staci Gebhardt, Danielle Coll, Michelle L. Bourassa, Lauren Dutilley, Abigail Dutilley, Zachary Bourassa, Melissa Gebhardt, Meghan Frazier, Timothy Frazier, Chelsey Frazier, Brittany Weston, Jordan Bergeron, Madison Weston, Thomas Weston; nine great-grandchildren; a brother, Gene Bourassa and his wife, Patty, of Keene; a sister, Sandy Spring of Keene; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He was predeceased by a daughter, LuAnn Bourassa in September 2012; three brothers and five sisters.
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM in St. Bernard Church, 185 Main Street, Keene. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Main Street, Keene. Family and friends are invited to call on Friday evening from 5:00PM to 8:00PM at St. Bernard Church. Members of the Knights of Columbus Councils will form an honor guard at the church and a rosary will be offered at 7:00PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Mr. Bourassa's memory to the Castle Center, 312 Marlboro Street, Keene, NH 03431.
The Foley Funeral Home, 49 Court Street, Keene, is assisting the family with the arrangements.